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13:49 

ellssa
Важно совсем не то, что пишут на заборах. Заборы и существуют для того, чтобы на них писали непристойности.(с) И.Порошин
CHALK.. , AND CHEESE; Miserable, arrogant, boring... why is the public perception of Stephen Hendry so wrong?
From:
The Daily Mail (London, England)
Date:
December 8, 2001
Author:
Lee-Potter, Adam

Byline: ADAM LEE-POTTER
STEPHEN HENDRY is the most successful snooker player ever, with a record seven world titles and winnings of [pound]10million. For a decade, he was as indomitable as he was unpopular. But turning 30 three years ago took a terrible toll. He didn't win a title for 27 months.
Critics said he was washed up and he considered retiring. Then last week he won the European Open in Malta - now he's back for the UK Championship in York. And this time, he tells ADAM LEE-POTTER, he wants us to like him
EVERYBODY thinks they know Stephen Hendry. Boring, teetotal, miserable, arrogant, mean. And that is exactly how he comes across on television.
He doesn't do emotion, bar the very occasional raised eyebrow when he misses a red.
We meet in his hotel after Hendry's second-round victory in the UK Championship. To my astonishment, he is smiling broadly and actually drinking beer. He even offers to buy me one. Regardless, the waiter sidles up afterwards to ask: 'What did you make of him? He's a cold fish, isn't he?' He is still clutching Hendry's autograph. It seems terribly unfair.
This is the mountain Hendry always has to climb. He will never be as popular as flamboyant bad boy Ronnie O'Sullivan or the emotional, madcap Jimmy White.
'People think I'm an a***hole,' he says.
'They've made their minds up. At exhibition matches, Steve Davis and I sign autographs.
I'll stay for an hour and sign maybe a thousand but Jimmy will dodge out the back.
And they still love him. That irritates the hell out of me.
'I've seen a young boy ask Jimmy for an autograph and he's gone: "F*** off" - but the lad just went: "Yeah, Jimmy, what a guy". If I said that, they'd smash the side of my car in. Some people in sport are just popular. Others, like me, just aren't.' He is surprisingly small and dapper, fingernails surgical-clean, gleaming white trainers straight-out-of-the-box immaculate.
Only his little-boy hair, slicked down but bobbing up at the back like uncut grass, defies him.
He has a dry humour. 'I hate it when people called me Steve. It's a completely different name. You might as well call me Brian.' And he oozes control, which is what has made him such a fine player. It has been with him since he was 13, learning on his first table.
'I'm not a robot, but snooker is very serious. It's one of the only sports where you watch your opponent to see how they're reacting to pressure. I do it naturally, to some extent. But first my dad and then my manager (Ian Doyle) drummed it into me: "You do not show emotion - whatever happens".
'When I play Jimmy, I can always tell when he's struggling. He will sweat more, hit the balls harder. I don't do that.' SO is his merely a television persona? ' I was walking through Edinburgh Airport recently. I was on my own, putting my case through the X-ray machine, and as I walked round the corner I heard this woman say: "God, he's as miserable in real life as he is on the telly". That upsets me.
'People ask me: "Why don't you smile?" - but what am I supposed to smile about, walking round an airport on my own? What do people expect? A big cheesy grin?' Hendry is 33 next month, but there is a sense of the precocious teenager about him still. 'I've always been around older people, ever since I started playing. I was earning money from the age of 14. I bought my own clothes, my own records. I didn't go to parties, I didn't have girlfriends, I didn't hang out on corners like kids do today. I was a dream child.' His discovery of the game that was to make him a multimillionaire and a household name came almost by chance. 'I got a small table for my Christmas, two weeks before my 13th birthday. I'd not hit a ball before then. Within a couple of weeks I'd made a 50 break. To have something where I was beating my dad, all my mates, to be better than everybody else, was just fantastic.
' Six or seven months later, we went on holiday to Pontins in Prestatyn and I won their Star of the Future Under-16 competition.
Then the next year I won the British Under-16s and entered Junior Pot Black. It all came together.' He left school at 16 with no qualifications. 'I wasn't thick, but I wasn't Brain of Britain either. My reports were always the same: "Would do better if he concentrated".' And so he turned professional. 'I just thought I was ready. I didn't want to be mucking around in snooker clubs, I wanted to be on the big stage. I was lucky, my parents just let me. My dad realised how good I could be. I have made sacrifices but I wouldn't change a thing.
What have I missed at the end of the day? The odd drink? I wasn't really into that anyway.' Hendry was born in Edinburgh but the family moved to Inverkeithing in Fife, when he was ten and his younger brother Keith was seven.
Their publican father Gordon, 52, also owned three fruit shops. Their mother Irene, 50, was - and still is - a secretary. The couple parted when their eldest was 15. They have both since remarried. Gordon has a nineyearold daughter.
'We weren't poor,' says Hendry. 'We lived in a lovely house and had nice things. But when mum and dad split up, it did get harder. I didn't see it coming. There had been no big rows.
I was lucky I had something to occupy myself. My brother didn't have that, so I think it was worse for him.' THE family is divided. Keith lives in Edinburgh, near his father, and also works in the pub trade.
Their mother lives near Stephen in Auchterarder, Perthshire. 'I don't see my dad that much and I don't see Keith as often as I'd like. I imagine at times it has been a nightmare to have Stephen Hendry as a big brother.' He met his future wife when he was 16, playing in yet another tournament at Pontins. Mandy and her elder sister Maria, who went on to become the women's world number two, were there.
'Mandy was dragged along to watch her sister play. She doesn' t like snooker. She'd rather watch Brookside or Coronation Street. Even now, snooker's never mentioned at home.' Mandy was nearly two years older and, he admits, 'made all the running'.
She herself said later: 'Stephen started chatting to my mum. He was very shy back then.' Hendry says: 'I thought that was the best way of getting to Mandy because it was a lot easier talking to her parents about snooker, rather than talking to her and making an absolute fool of myself. Talking to women is a completely different kettle of fish, isn't it?
'That first time, there was no kissing or anything like that. I met her, liked her. Four or five months later, Pontins came round again. There was a bit more contact, maybe a kiss that time. When I got home, she phoned me.
There was no way I was going to phone her.
'For the first few years, we weren't properly going out. We were seeing each other for two days every month or two.
We used to meet halfway, in Carlisle or Penrith. She was my first and only girlfriend - apart from one or two silly girlfriends at school.' But snooker remained his first love.
First, his manager banned Mandy from tournaments after his protege's form dipped. Then, in the year before the first World Championship win in 1990, he demanded more drastic action.
'We split for a year. My manager told me: "You need to decide what's more important, your relationship or snooker". I chose snooker. I wasn't ending it for another woman, but I think that made it worse. Mandy handled it badly. It was hard for both of us.' But after his triumph he rebelled - and married Mandy five years later. Their son Blaine is now five. They remain besotted - but snooker is still a banned topic. 'She's got other things to do.
She's got her own life as an amateur showjumper. I like to go and watch her.
None of my silverware is in the house but all her rosettes are. I enjoy it because the horsey circuit is quite weird. They don't care who you are, they just like horses.' Mandy sounds, and is, a feisty woman. But Hendry has spent his life surrounded by strong people.
'I've got a slightly lazy streak if I'm not pushed. I am drawn to strength.
Mandy likes a row, I just go quiet. The only time I lose my temper is in the car. I am a terrible one for road rage.
'My wife sometimes yearns for me to be like a normal person. But we've been together for so long, she understands what's involved. A different wife would have been a nightmare, on the phone screaming.
Mandy has no fear. Day to day she's much stronger than I am, mentally.
She wants to try everything.' THE Hendrys lead a privileged life, with a four-bedroom house and five acres behind electronic gates. He drives a Mercedes, she wears designer clothes. But he still trudges off to a snooker club in Stirling every morning at 10am to practise; five hours a day, six days a week.
'I did have a table at home but I couldn't do it properly. I found myself stopping every five minutes, to make a cup of tea or answer the phone. For me it has to be a job of work. Rigid.
Practising bores me.' So much so that, after an earlier run of losses, he said he was going to retire.
His manager swiftly changed his mind.
Surely not winning for more than two years must have felt even worse?
'You feel like quitting every time you lose. But all the time I've been thinking: "I'm still good enough to win". I really believe that. Winning last week has at last taken the monkey off my back. And being a father has helped.
I used to sulk for days after losing a game. Now I look at Blaine's wee little face. He cheers me up instantly.' Hendry comes across as personable but a little lonely. After winning a crucial game, I could think of more enjoyable ways of winding down than chatting to a stranger in a hotel lobby.
'I've got nothing better to do,' he says sadly. Therein lies the crux.
' I don't have any good friends in snooker. But I've always enjoyed staying in hotels. You're in a room, people bring you food, make your bed and clean your clothes. What's so bad about it? There are worse things. I have lots and lots of people I know, but it's hard to have close friends. And I never go to nightclubs. There's too much opportunity to get into trouble.' BUT have there been temptations?
'Yeah, we could get groupies if we wanted to. The likes of Ronnie particularly. I tend to get grannies coming up to me who just want my autograph. Steve Davis once told me: "I'm a great big ginger bloke, but as soon as I was world champion I became good looking".' But aren't the public at last warming to him? 'I think they warmed to Steve Davis a bit more when he started losing.
It's the same with me. They see me as more fallible. Your emotions come out more when you're losing. They're now willing Steve to win again. I'm not quite there yet, but who knows? It would be nice to be liked.' He shakes my hand politely and heads back to his room to watch the Rangers match with a bottle of wine sent up. The chap from room service tells me: 'He gave me an autograph but I prefer Steve Davis.' Did Davis give him an autograph? 'No, but I still prefer him.' Stephen Hendry has still, perhaps, a little way to go.


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2007-07-04 в 13:55 

It's only forever - not long at all...
ОК.
Вечерком займусь. :)

2007-07-04 в 16:14 

ellssa
Важно совсем не то, что пишут на заборах. Заборы и существуют для того, чтобы на них писали непристойности.(с) И.Порошин
Спасибо.
Впрочем, ты сначала прочитай, а то я на почве свой сдвинутости на Стивене, могла и преувеличить ее интересность :)

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